The Liberian Registry has strengthened their focus in Asia in recent years.
Four new offices were recently opened in addition to the main office in Shanghai; these are Tianjin, Ningbo, Guangzhou, and Qingdao to keep up with their unparalleled growth in this region. This focus explains why Liberia is one of the fastest growing flags in China and why the Liberian Registry has tripled its size in China since 2010.
Liberia managed to renew their historic Maritime Agreement with China
Additionally, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of Liberia renewed their historic maritime agreement with an unmatched five-year extension, which strengthens their long-term cooperation in the field of maritime transport. Under this renewal, Liberian-flag vessels continue to enjoy their preferential rate for tonnage dues when visiting any port in China. These savings, a 28% port dues reduction, can translate to an effective net increase in time-charter equivalent rates of $1,000 per day based on a 100-day voyage. Furthermore, it has been agreed to establish a technical cooperation committee so that both countries can collaborate in areas such as port state control, crew training and future maritime regulatory policy. The agreement gives Liberia a clear advantage over other flag states, such as the Marshall Islands, that do not have diplomatic relations with the PRC and do not get any port dues discounts in China.
Liberia’s Law Amendments facilitate mortgages
Moreover, the recent maritime law amendments introduced by Liberia, which allow a financing charter to be recorded as a mortgage, are likely to strengthen still further the high level of mutually beneficial co-operation which exists between Liberia and its Chinese partners. The advantages offered to the shipping industry by Liberia resulting from the changes made to the country’s maritime law are by no means limited to leasing houses in China, but rather are available to all stakeholders, worldwide. Lease structures for ship financing are, however, increasing in popularity in Asia, in particular, and the inability to record a financing charter to perfect security hinders access to this kind of financing. With that in mind, the Liberian Government has introduced amendments to provide for the recordation of financing charters similar to ship mortgages.
Liberia established strategic cooperation with Chinese Shipbuilding Industry
Furthermore, in the proactive nature for which Liberia is known, the Registry has regularly been meeting with high-quality shipyards and designers over the past 2 years in major shipbuilding countries, namely China, Japan and South Korea. So far about 100 meetings have led to over 10 strategic cooperation MoUs and Technical Agreements being signed between the Liberian Registry and reputable high-quality stakeholders, primarily within the Chinese shipbuilding industry as an extension of the China Maritime Transport Agreement. These agreements include the governmental shipbuilding groups CSSC, CSIC, CHI, CSC and AVIC Ship Development group as well as a few private shipyards and designers.
The overall aim of these MoUs and Technical Agreements is to bring together the Liberian Registry’s competitive technical advantage and marketing strategy to work in close cooperation with long-term key industry stakeholders. Through these MoU’s, the Liberian Administration will be involved in the process of ship design and construction from the beginning, which will improve efficiency in meeting IMO requirements at the most cost-efficient phase of shipbuilding projects.
This initiative has been further developed into Liberia’s streamlined Ship Newbuild Services that are available to Liberian-flag shipowners looking to achieve a competitive advantage. These unique agreements support Liberia’s pursuit to help shipyards, and ultimately, Liberian-flag shipowners to have the most innovative and competitive ships in the market while meeting current and future known international regulations.
In Germany specifically, there is a long-standing relationship with Liberia, and Liberia has remained the largest flag in Germany for many years. Liberia recognizes Germany’s leadership in international shipping. In effect, Liberia has grown even further in Germany in recent years and currently holds 34 percent of the market in terms of tonnage. “Our strong position in the German market is built on trust. Liberia strongly believes that it is the responsibility of the flag state to help owners through this changing time in shipping, and to assist with reducing costs wherever possible”, says Merle Stilkenbäumer, Managing Director of the Hamburg office.
For further information on the Liberian Registry, please visit: www.LISCR.com and/ or call: +49 40 3500 4660.